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The importance of reflection

We do not learn from experience. … We learn from reflecting on experience. ~John Dewey, American philosopher


Reflection is a critical part of any service project. It gives members a chance to process what they learned from the experience and to think about what they can do moving forward. As an advisor, you may notice the impact of reflection in greater self-confidence, stronger problem-solving skills and an increased connection between members.

There are many ways to encourage reflection. Here are three suggestions:

Peer interviews.
Members can pair up and ask each other questions about their experience and then share their answers with the group. The club can brainstorm interview questions or use this reflection guide.

Presentation.
The club can collaborate on a video or slideshow about their service project and present the slideshow to school administration, as well as the sponsoring Kiwanis club or the organization they served. Or all three!

Journal.
A personal or group journal encourages reflection at each stage of the service project (brainstorming, planning and execution). After the final entry, members can use journal notes to write an article — and submit it to the local or school newspaper.